The United States is headed in an unsustainable direction economically. During my lifetime, I have witnessed an increase of government handouts replace self-reliance to the extent that the taxpayers can no longer support the non-taxpayers. Unless we reverse this trend, we are destined to become a third world country before my great grandchildren become adults, maybe sooner.

President Franklin Roosevelt started the downward spiral with the best of intentions but the members of his party doubled down on his mistakes. President Kennedy was the last President in the Democratic Party to recognize the problems created by President Roosevelt when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Upon President Kennedy’s death, President Johnson moved the country further down the unsustainable path with Medicare and the transfer of the Social Security income into the general fund. That single action amounted to the theft of the retirement savings of millions of Americans. The waste in Medicare has resulted in excessive spending on the medical services that all Americans had depended on for generations and reduced incomes for their doctors and other medical personnel. Government has never spent our money as well as individuals.

We must now recognize that the excessive spending by the federal government has exceeded the level of spending that the taxpayers of this country can support. Spending must be reduced to a sustainable level to prevent our country from a depression of a magnitude that will make the depression of the 1930s look like the good old days. The American people must accept that the current socialist trends of the federal government are in direct contradiction of the nature of our government that our founding fathers envisioned for America. We must return to the values and founding principles of our Constitutional Republic. Otherwise, we need to start learning how to grow our own food and protect our own family.

Our current situation would compare to a family spending forty percent more than their income for a period of many years and expect to be able to continue this excessive spending with no adverse results. It is possible to spend more than your income for a short period by borrowing but you should not expect to be able to continue this excessive spending forever without adverse results. The greatest country ever to be established in the history of the world is facing bankruptcy and our citizens will be the ones who will suffer the consequences, not our federal bureaucrats. If you have doubts, examine the following data taken from Census data a www.usgovernmentspending.com, www.ncpa.org/pub/bs662 and www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf:

In 1963, the U.S. population was 186.2 million people with an annual gross domestic product of $4.6 trillion. Annual government spending at all levels was $1.3 trillion and the total national debt was 2.3 trillion with annual interest payments of $73 billion. Annual government social spending was $437.7 billion and estimated unfunded future liabilities was $12.5 trillion. The median family income was $37,718.

In 2011, the U.S. population increased 67.6 percent to 312.1 million people and the annual gross domestic product increased 228.2 percent to $15.1 trillion. Annual government spending at all levels increased 369.2 percent to $6.1 trillion and the national debt increase 556.5 percent to $15.1 trillion. The interest on the national debt grew to $333 billion, a 356.2 percent increase. Annual government social spending increased 739.2 percent to $3,673 billion and estimated unfunded future liabilities grew to $107 trillion, a 756 percent increase. The median household income increased just 31.1 percent to $49,445.

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Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk writers, email cjmcd17@hotmail.com.